Fostering cohesion

2019-02-14 06:01
Pearl Mgquba, Mbuyekezi Mengwane, Nontsikelelo Cotiyana and Luntu Xovula-Makasi participate in one of the discussions held during the social cohesion conversation at Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum last Friday (8 February).PHOTOS: MZWANELE MKALIPI

Pearl Mgquba, Mbuyekezi Mengwane, Nontsikelelo Cotiyana and Luntu Xovula-Makasi participate in one of the discussions held during the social cohesion conversation at Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum last Friday (8 February).PHOTOS: MZWANELE MKALIPI

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Stakeholders in the community were granted a platform to identify challenges and discuss possible solutions in Lwandle through a workshop last week.

The session, hosted by the provincial Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, saw participants converse on and explore various issues, such as race, youth, language, values and morals.

This dialogue is a national initiative and the brainchild of former President Jacob Zuma, who felt the nation needed to have these types of conversations after his election in 2009. The gathering was held at the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum on Friday 8 February.

Facilitator Liezel Klaasen told participants that to execute change in the world people first need to look in the mirror. She said the Lwandle workshop was one of the first in a series of engagements to be held in the province, in various places.

According to Klaasen, the Lwandle meet was a success, as many issues and possible solutions came to light. She thanked the community for their willingness and enthusiastic participation.

“These community conversations are like a barometer,” she pointed out, “we want to measure the temperature in terms of how far social cohesion has developed in the province, and nationally. Their aim is to discuss issues that impact on social cohesion.

The programme aims to draw a first-hand account from community members of the matters that undermine social cohesion, and for the community to agree on steps to take in resolving these concerns, ultimately taking responsibility for it.

Klaasen said the information shared at this and other community engagements would be presented to national government at a social cohesion summit in Oudtshoorn on Wednesday 22 February.

Communities’ collective inputs would be presented by district representatives, while experts in the social cohesion field would share their views before a report is compiled and sent to the Presidency.

Mnyamezeli Magqabaza, a participant in Lwandle, believes people have to take initiative and possess drive if they want to succeed in life.

“You can have a lot of money, but if you don’t use it properly you will soon live in poverty,” he said.

“Our people need to be ambitious to see them go through any challenges that life may put on their journey.”

Other issues raised included disregard for human rights, especially those of children, a lack of responsibility as well as a general decay in morals and values, leading to communities losing their sense of humanity.

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